State elections, 2014: liberal Democrats win in Brookline

Turning over a different leaf from federal and state politics, liberal Democrats chalked up strong wins in Brookline’s 2014 state election returns. Deborah Goldberg, former chair of the Board of Selectmen, becomes the new state treasurer, replacing Steven Grossman. Frank Smizik, state representative for Precincts 2-4 and 6-13, returns to the State House.

Both the Brookline liberal Democrats defeated Republican opponents in strikingly similar Brookline election results. Ms. Goldberg won over Michael Heffernan of Wellesley, a business executive with about 25 years in financial services but no political credentials. Mr. Smizik won over Curt Myers of Buckminster Rd., a college student with no political credentials.

Following are preliminary returns, published election evening by the town clerk, for precincts in which both Ms. Goldberg and Mr. Smizik were on the ballot:

Precinct Voting Goldberg Smizik Coakley
2 714 74% 75% 70%
3 1239 74% 71% 70%
4 1044 72% 72% 67%
6 1286 77% 76% 75%
7 1049 74% 75% 70%
8 1141 79% 79% 74%
9 1115 79% 80% 73%
10 1116 76% 73% 69%
11 1167 76% 76% 71%
12 1453 71% 71% 67%
13 1231 70% 67% 62%
Totals 12555 75% 74% 70%

When there is no well known opponent, the results indicate about three-quarters of Brookline residents in these mainly urban areas vote for a candidate who is well known as a liberal Democrat. Mr. Smizik got a little lower percentage in the home precinct of his Republican opponent but came out slightly ahead in Precincts 8 and 9, the part of town where he lives. Ms. Goldberg and her family have long attended synagogue in the same area.

Being a Brookline native provided no more advantage to Mr. Smizik’s Republican opponent than long experience in financial services provided to Ms. Goldberg’s Republican opponent. When voters encounter candidates through news but not local roots, the picture changes a little. Martha Coakley won smaller percentages for governor than either local candidate, with bigger variations among these precincts. Overall, however, Brookline’s well known preference for liberal Democrats outweighed other factors.

– Craig Bolon, Brookline, MA, November 5, 2014

Election results, 2000 through 2014, Town of Brookline, MA

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